February 2019

This Day in History… February 22, 1921

Transcontinental Airmail 

US #C1 – The third and final airmail issued in 1918 that would have been in use at the time of this flight. Click image to order.

On February 22, 1921, overnight transcontinental airmail service in the US began with flights between San Francisco and New York.

When US airmail service first began in 1918, it was a success, making more money than it spent.  However, in the years that followed, it lost money because of increased costs due to a higher number of routes, greater distances traveled, and more mail that weighed down the planes.

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This Day in History… February 21, 1916

Battle of Verdun 

US #2154 honors veterans of WWI. Click image to order.

On February 21, 1916, one of the longest battles on the Western Front began at Verdun.

German general Erich von Falkenhayn considered England to be his country’s most important enemy.  Because the French shielded that nation from his reach, von Falkenhayn plotted to destroy that army first.  He sought a target so valued by the French that they would sacrifice their entire army to defend it.  Afterward, von Falkenhayn planned to march his troops swiftly on to England.

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This Day in History… February 20, 1962

First American Orbit of Earth 

US #1193 was produced in secrecy to coincide with Glenn’s flight.  Click image to order. 

On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his Friendship 7 capsule.

Born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was enrolled in college when World War II began.  Because he had earned his private pilot’s license, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He wasn’t called up quickly, so he joined the Navy in March 1942.  He was reassigned to the Marines in 1943 and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

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This Day in History… February 19, 1914

Parents Mail Their Daughter

US #Q5 – Several instances of children traveling through the mail were by train. Click image to order.

On February 19, 1914, parents in Idaho took advantage of the affordable Parcel Post rate to mail their daughter to her grandmother’s house.

A year earlier, the Post Office Department had initiated its Parcel Post service for fourth-class mail on January 1, 1913.  Parcel Post service could be used for sending items weighing 16 ounces or more through the mail.  The mail is divided into four classes, with Parcel Post making up the fourth class. Almost any type of merchandise could be mailed parcel post, including day-old chicks, baby alligators, and honeybees.  Only items that could be dangerous to handle could not be sent through Parcel Post.

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This Day in History… February 18, 1939

Golden Gate International Exposition 

US #852 was issued on the opening day of the expo. Click image to order.

On February 18, 1939, the Golden Gate International Exposition opened in San Francisco, California.

The idea for the exposition dates back to 1933 when a letter to The San Francisco News suggested the city hold a world’s fair to honor the completion of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Construction on both bridges had begun in 1933 and was completed in 1936 and 1937.

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This Day in History… February 17, 1897

Parent Teacher Association

US #1463 was issued for the 75th anniversary of the National PTA. Click image to order.

On February 17, 1897, the National Congress of Mothers was formed, which would later become the Parent Teacher Association.

The organization was the brainchild of Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst.  Both mothers, Birney and Hearst were deeply concerned about the welfare of children and believed in the importance of education in enriching their lives.

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